In what may be the single most bizarre development yet in the Malloy administration’s war on teachers and public education and their ongoing commitment to secrecy, a recent Freedom of Information request has produced an email between Governor Malloy’s Director of Communications and a senior official from ConnCAN, the charter school advocacy group, in which they discuss what appears to be the Malloy’s administration’s effort to get a restraining order to prevent FOI requests about Malloy’s education reform efforts.
In the email to Governor Malloy’s Director of Communications, ConnCAN’s Jordan Fenster wrote,
Just following up on our conversation today. Any info you may have on a restraining order of any kind against Jon Pelto, (requested by the administration) would be great. It may have something to do with SDE, considering all the FOI requests and negative press he’s been throwing in that direction.
My cell number, if you lost it, is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
The email is dated April 23, 2013, which coincides with a series of Wait, What? posts about the $35,500 public opinion poll that ConnCAN conducted to help make Malloy’s education reform initiative appear more popular.
It was also the time-period in which Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, was engaged in his extended effort to help Paul Vallas circumvent Connecticut law so that Vallas could remain as head of Bridgeport’s School System.
While getting “negative press” may be annoying to politicians, the notion that Governor Malloy’s administration would consider pursuing a “restraining order” to prevent Freedom of Information requests is extremely disturbing considering the fundamental right that citizens have to get access to public information.
Even the notion that government officials would consider corrupting the legal system to quell political opposition is chilling.
Interestingly, the disk of emails that was released by Malloy’s office as a result of the recent FOI request does not contain any other communication that mentions a possible “restraining order” against me or the Wait, What? blog.
However, an FOI request that was submitted to Commission Pryor and the State Department of Education on the same subject remains unanswered.
ConnCAN is the charter school lobbying group that led the record-breaking $6 million lobbying and public relations effort in support of Malloy’s education reform initiative.
Jordan Fenster is the senior writer and editor for ConnCAN. Before he worked for ConnCAN, Fenster worked as the political reporter for the New Haven Register.